2,000-year-old Punic tomb discovered during works in Zabbar

Remains of an adult and young child in a 2,000-year-old Punic discovered during works carried out by the Water Services Corporation in Zabbar

The Punic remains were found in Zejtun
The Punic remains were found in Zejtun

A 2,000-year-old Punic tomb was discovered in Zabbar by the Water Services Corporation when carrying out roadworks.

The tomb, which was still sealed, was found to contain a number of urns containing the cremated remains of human bones.

The remains of an adult and a young child, which were identified using bones discovered in the tomb, were found. An amphora, two urns, an oil lamp, a glass perfume bottle and other pottery vessels typically of the Punic period were also discovered.

“The burial rite was altered through the Punic and Roman times. Sometimes the bodies were burnt, and other times they were buried intact in the grave. Cremation necessitated a variety of resources, including wood to burn the body and the presence of a person throughout the whole process of cremation which took several hours,” the corporation said.  

Currently, the material is being removed from the tomb and transported to a laboratory, where the pottery and bones are being consolidated, cleaned, and analysed.

The Water Services Corporation is currently expanding the drainage network in the south of Malta to those areas which currently make us of cesspits.

“Because of the archaeological sensitivity of the location, the Superintendence requested that an archaeologist accompany the crew in case any ancient remains are discovered,” it said.